Doomed. We’re All Doomed.

On Monday I walked home past one of those Evening Standard headline boards that was yelling at me about “Black Monday”, and telling me that fifty odd billion had been wiped off global share prices. This was on a day when the FTSE had closed down about 300 points for the day. Yesterday the FTSE closed up about 200 points, and so far today it has continued to rise, and might even close marginally up on the week.

No doubt the Evening Standard’s crack team of headline writers are already stencilling in “Red Thursday/Friday” on tonight’s board. No?

I can also tell that the markets are having a bad day when I pop over to the BBC News website: if bad stuff is happening, then they move their MarketWatch tickers to the front page. When the markets recover, they quietly shift them back to the business pages…

I’m not for a minute suggesting that the global stock markets aren’t in a bad way (and who knows, maybe when the Americans wake up things will start heading in the other direction again and I’ll look like the fool for writing this) but I do wonder how much effect the relentless barrage of negative media coverage and prophecies of doom have. The fate of the markets being so much about sentiment after all, I do wonder how long it will be before those prophecies start to fulfil themselves…

There’s this pervasive and unpleasant sense of glee at the prospect that a recession might be on the way, which seems odd to me. Sure, all those people losing their jobs and houses certainly makes for a good way of filling your newspaper with juicy stories, but it’s not much good if no one has any money left to buy it, is it?